Events 

Carnaval de Ánimas de Villar del Pedroso

Both a religious festival and a military celebration, the Carnival of Villar del Pediroso is one of the most unusual in Extremadura, and has been declared a Festival of Tourist Interest.

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10330 Villar del Pedroso , Cáceres (Extremadura)

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  • Both a religious festival and a military celebration, the Carnival of Villar del Pediroso is one of the most unusual in Extremadura, and has been declared a Festival of Tourist Interest.

    This festival, the most characteristic of Villar del Pedroso, dates back to the seventeenth century and to the creation of the Capellanía de Ánimas, the first governing committee of the carnival.

    Legend has it that a general born in the town prayed to the souls of the dead (ánimas) to win a battle and pledged to make a festival or performance in their honour if he won. Apparently he won, ad this is the origin of the carnival, which has both a deep military and pious character, complete with religious processions, battle re-enactments, dances, military parades and presence of figures such as the general and the generala (the general and his wife), the bastonero and the bastonera (the dancer and his dancing partner) and the sargentos (sergeant).

    The festivities last for a week. It starts on Domingo de Gallos (literally, Cock Sunday) with a holy mass for the souls of the dead, followed by a fight with halberds and then a local traditional dance called serengue, while singing Carnival songs. The festivities on the following Sunday or Domingo de Piñata (Piñata Sunday) with the handout ceremony in which bastones are passed on to the persons who shall be in charge of organizing the carnival on the following year.

    The highlight of the festivities happens on Tuesday, Martes de Carnestolendas. A wreath is decorated and paraded throughout the village. At half past ten, the sargentos carry the wreath amid salvos and while the drums play a funeral march. There is a mass at 11 am for the salvation of the souls trapped in Purgatory. Afterwards, the soldiers march to the cemetery and solemnly place a laurel wreath there, as an homage to the dead.

    The decorated wreath, the laurel wreath and the drumming are the most representative elements of the carnival celebrations, which wouldn’t be possible without the enthusiast participation of the locals, and which has an Interpretation Centre devoted to it in the Casa del Labrador.

  • Type:
  • Event
  • Tourist Interest in Extremadura
  • Event subject:
  • Open Air
  • Show
  • Tourism
  • Start date:
    23/02/2020
    End date:
    01/03/2020

    Theme:

    • Events

    Target audience:

    • Families
    • Young people
    • Single people
    • Senior citizens
    • Children
    • Couples
    • Single people

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